Upper Norwood Library by Richard Calvert

Opportunities to Chair the trustee board of a dynamic social enterprise in Upper Norwood

The Upper Norwood Library Trust

We are looking for an outstanding Chair to replace the existing Chair who is standing down after several terms.

The Upper Norwood Library Trust (UNLT) was formed in November 2012 by local residents to take over the operation, governance and management of the Upper Norwood Joint Library (UNJL) as a community library hub. Now a thriving community hub contributing to the social, cultural and economic well -being of the Upper Norwood local community and beyond.

The Library Hub has professional staff employed by the Trust running the building, developing services and raising revenue. The building hosts a library service delivered to the Trust by Lambeth Council Library Services, co-funded by Croydon Library Services. The focus for the Trust over the next few years is to be fully sustainable through a blend of statutory funding, grants and by generating our own income.

As we drive forward to achieve sustainability and create a library of the 21st century, we are looking for new trustees to join us. We want people who can ideally bring knowledge of working in the social enterprise/charities or start ups; have both a passionate belief in keeping libraries open and an entrepreneurial and pragmatic approach to organisational and business development.

The trustees are responsible for governance of the charity, setting the strategic direction as well as meeting legal requirements. Trustees may also serve on a committee or other ad hoc group such as our finance committee.Trustees are expected to commit between 30 + hours a year (by agreement and business need) it includes quarterly trustee meetings, strategy, business and advisory activities. You will be expected to attend profile raising public/community events.

If you would like to learn more about this exciting opportunity and want to be part of this essential local charity, please contact Emily Jewell or Margaret Adjaye on 0208 6704389 or via email [email protected]

Job description in detail


Upper Norwood Library Trust

Role Description

Job Title: Chair of Trustees/Management Committee

Direct Report: Hub Directors

Role Summary

As a start-up we are looking for a Chair who is entrepreneurial by nature, thinks outside of the box and has experience of building and driving business forward. The role of the Chair is:

  • To provide leadership and direction to the board of Trustees. The Chair’s aim is to enable the board to fulfil their responsibilities for the overall governance and strategic direction of the organisation.
  • To ensure that the organisation complies with its governing document, charity law, company law and any other relevant legislation or regulations and to make sure that the organisation pursues its objects as defined in its governing document.
  • To work in partnership with the hub directors / senior paid staff members (hub directors) and support the employees, helping them achieve the aims of the organisation; and to optimise the relationship between the board of Trustees and the staff.

In addition to the general responsibilities of a Trustee, the Chair has a number of tasks specific to their role.

  1. Main Responsibilities of the Chair
  • providing leadership for the board of trustees in their role of setting the
  • strategy and policy of the organisation
  • planning the annual cycle of board meetings and set the agendas
  • chairing and facilitating the board meetings
  • giving directions to board policy making
  • monitoring that decisions taken at board meetings are implemented
  • representing the organisation at appropriate events, meetings or functions
  • acting as a spokesperson for the organisation where appropriate
  • where staff are employed
  • liaising with Hub Directors / senior paid staff member to keep an overview of the organisation’s affairs and to provide support as appropriate
  • reviewing and appraising the performance of the Hub Directors / senior paid staff member
  • sitting on appointment panels as required
  • acting as final stage adjudicator for disciplinary and grievance procedures if required
  • attending and being a member of other committees or working groups when appropriate in role as Chair
  1. Qualities of a Chair
  • commitment to the organisation
  • leadership ability
  • integrity, strategic vision and good/independent judgement
  • a willingness to devote the necessary time and effort to their duties as
  • Chair and trustee
  • ability to take decisions for the good of the organisation
  • good, independent judgement
  • good communication skills
  • tact and diplomacy
  • willingness to speak one’s mind and listen to the views of others
  • an ability to work effectively as a member of a team
  • understanding of the legal responsibilities and liabilities of a trustee

Desirable experience

  • prior experience of committee/trustee work
  • knowledge of the type of work undertaken by the Upper Norwood Library Trust
  • a wider involvement with the voluntary sector

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